Reblog: Michaelina Wautier, Art Video

Francisco Cabrera has consistently highlighted female artists. This is another in his marvelous ongoing series on Women Artists.

Feminism does not mean standing in front of an audience to accuse men or belittle masculinity. It is the process of enhancing the work of women and the work done by women. That is what equality is. It is not imposing one gender upon another one but it is claiming and demanding al equal playing field. If you have a means to reach out, no matter what it is, you can help by promoting, by informing about women artists.


(De/by Michaelina Wautier –, Public Domain,

Imbolc: Celtic Spring

Imbolc or Imbolg ( also called Saint Brigid’s Day is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint. It is held on 1 February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, its traditions were widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with: Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain.[3]

Other nations celebrate early Spring celebrations in different ways.

Imbolc was known as the time for clearing the fields to prepare them for Spring planting. It was also a time for cleansing and purification. The fertility or fire goddess, Bridgit (before she became the Christian St. Brigid) was celebrated on this day.

Candlemas is traditionally a holiday where Jesus was presented to the temple and Mary was purified 40 days after giving birth to Jesus. The ceremony is referenced in Luke (2:22-4:22)

In the United States, where groundhogs exist, it’s the day where people wait to see if the great weather prognosticator will see his shadow or not.

January 22 is Chinese New Year or Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day or Chinese Spring Festival

All three titles are used in National Today’s January 22nd Holidays.

Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day is celebrated every year on the first day of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, typically occurring between January 21 and February 20. This year, it falls on January 22. It is also commonly referred to as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Celebrations last for 15 days, seven of which are work-free. During this fun period, families get together, cash gifts are handed to young people, and homes are thoroughly cleaned to usher in fresh blessings for the new year.

The celebration will last until February 5. It is the Year of the Rabbit.

This is one of many Spring holidays celebrated around the world about this time.

Martin Luther King Holiday, January 16

To mark the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. It is observed on the third Monday of January.

The holiday is often celebrated as a Day of Service, so a day on rather than a day off.

A worthy goal
worth striving for
our progress will be 
in lives not needlessly lost
in rules no longer unevenly applied
on worth measured by values lived, not lies told
by having single standard
that applies to us all evenly.

January 12 is National Hot Tea Day

A frigid January day would be a perfect day for a cuppa..

History of National Hot Tea Day

Tea has been consumed for almost 5,000 years. In 2737 B.C., during the Tang Dynasty, legend has it that some tea leaves fell into a pot of water that was being boiled for Chinese emperor Shen Nung. He drank the brew and found it delicious and relaxing.

In 2016, the earliest known physical evidence of tea was discovered in the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han in Xi’an, indicating that tea, from the genus Camellia, was drunk by Han dynasty emperors, as early as the 2nd century B.C. The Han dynasty work, “the Contract for a Youth,” written in 59 B.C., contains the first known reference to boiling tea. The first record of tea cultivation is also dated to this period, during which tea was cultivated on Meng Mountain.

Tea was first introduced to Western priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. The first recorded shipment of tea by a European nation was in 1607, when the Dutch East India Company moved a cargo of tea from Macao to Java. Tea was sold in a coffee house in London in 1657, Samuel Pepys tasted tea in 1660, and Catherine of Braganza took the tea-drinking habit to the English court when she married Charles II in 1662.

Tea smuggling during the 18th century made tea accessible to the public. The British government removed the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade, in 1785. The popularity of tea played a role in historical events — the Tea Act of 1773 provoked the Boston Tea Party that escalated into the American Revolution. By the late 19th century, tea had become an everyday beverage for every social society.

The Tea Council of the U.S.A. was founded in 1950, and National Hot Tea Day was created by the council in 2016.

Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and purple tea are all made from the camellia sinensis tea plant. Each of these teas develops its unique characteristics through different harvesting and processing methods. Some teas are steamed, some are pan-fired. Some are allowed to oxidize and some aren’t. Some tea leaves are hand-formed into tightly rolled balls, while other tea leaves are roughly chopped, or left to air-dry in their natural shape. Some teas are harvested in the first weeks of the spring season, while others are harvested in the summer and fall.

What time is best for tea?
Any time is fine with me
With a group or all alone
With just a book to call my own

Can tea from a bag be considered tea?

The Names of All Manner of Hounds

If you don’t know what to call your dog (or anything else) and you want a list that looks and sounds classy, then check this list out.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Medieval dog statue | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

There are name generators aplenty when it comes to characters. What about their dogs, though? Have you ever been stuck looking for an authentic-sounding name for your medieval or fantasy hero’s four-legged best friend?

Thanks to My Modern Met, you now have the perfect resource to help you out: a unique medieval text that contains 1,065 dog names perfect for (medieval) pups! The list, known as “The Names of All Manner of Hounds,” offers some great names modern dog owners might want to consider such as Achilles, Meryman, Russette, Synfull, and Honeydewe.

The list of dog names was compiled around 1460 and was in the collection of Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. The list of dog names is intended for hunting hounds: “running hounds, terriers, and greyhounds.” Some names take inspiration from royal historical figures, such as Charlemayne, Nero, and Romulus. Others are cute animal monikers like Dolfyn…

View original post 127 more words

January 5th in Twelfth Night.

During the Middle Ages, Christmas was a time of continuous feasting and merriment, which climaxed on Twelfth Night. The days and nights are counted separately. Therefore, the height of celebration became the night before, or eve, of Epiphany. The twelve day count actually begins with the night of December 25, the “first night.” The day of December 26 is the “first day,” the night of December 26 is the “second night,” and so on. The Twelfth Night is the night before Epiphany, and the twelfth day is Epiphany itself.

In some countries, Twelfth Night and Epiphany mark the start of the Carnival season. For Carnival in the United States, think about New Orleans, where it lasts through Mardi Gras Day.

  • The punch, called wassail, is consumed during Christmastime, but especially on Twelfth Night.
  • Special pastries, such as the tortell and king cake, are baked on Twelfth Night. They are eaten the following day for the Feast of the Epiphany celebrations.
  • Some people chalk their doors as a way of blessing their home. This year, they would write “20 + C =M +B + 2” in chalk. The letters have two meanings. They represent the initial of the Wise Men (Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar). They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “22” at the end mark the year.
  • It also a popular belief that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, though some may leave them up until Candlemas.

Twelfth Night or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play center s on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. To read the entire play click here

US Citizenship Test – Part 1 – Answers

How did you do on the test?

A: Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

▪ the Constitution

2. What does the Constitution do?

▪ sets up the government
▪ defines the government
▪ protects basic rights of Americans

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
▪ We the People

4. What is an amendment?
▪ a change (to the Constitution)
▪ an addition (to the Constitution)

5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

▪ the Bill of Rights

6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*
▪ speech
▪ religion
▪ assembly
▪ press
▪ petition the government

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
▪ twenty-seven (27)-

2-*If you are 65 years old or older and have been a legal p ermanent resident of the United S tates for 20 or more years, you may study just the questions that have been marked with an asterisk.

8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

▪ announced our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ declared our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)

9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
▪ life
▪ liberty
▪ pursuit of happiness

10. What is freedom of religion?
▪ You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

11. What is the economic system in the United States?*
▪ capitalist economy
▪ market economy

12. What is the “rule of law”?
▪ Everyone must follow the law.
▪ Leaders must obey the law.
▪ Government must obey the law.
▪ No one is above the law

US Citizenship Test – Part 1

There is some discussion that Biden is dumbing down the Citizenship test to make it easier for foreigners. Having heard many fellow Americans making up answers about what our government does, I thought it might be interesting to provide the questions to the first part of the 2019 version of the test, I found on the Internet. Answers will be provided tomorrow.

A: Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

2. What does the Constitution do?

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

4. What is an amendment?

5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

10. What is freedom of religion?

11. What is the economic system in the United States?*

12. What is the “rule of law”?

From Literary History–Some Books Entering the Public Domain in the US in 2023

So what’s on the table this year? Though copyright laws differ from country to country, on January 1st, 2023, books that were published in 1927 will enter the public domain in the United States. Here’s a selection of the most interesting:

Herbert Asbury, The Gangs of New York

Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Agatha Christie, The Big Four

Countee Cullen, ed., Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets

Franklin W. Dixon, The Tower Treasure (The Hardy Boys #1)

Franklin W. Dixon, The House on the Cliff (The Hardy Boys #2)

Franklin W. Dixon, The Secret of the Old Mill (The Hardy Boys #3)

Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger”

Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”

E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Franz Kafka, Amerika

Anita Loos, But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

Edith Wharton, Twilight Sleep

Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

December 30 is Bacon Day

Bacon is not just for breakfast anymore. (Note there are several days throughout the year to celebrate bacon–for many of us , it is just that tasty.)

Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.   

Did you know that Bacon was also

  • a rebellion
  • an actor
  • a painter
  • a philosopher
  • a writer
  • a designer
  • the last name of all of the above

What do you like best or least about bacon?

Christmas Eve in Washington

I have lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Chesapeake Bay, and in Northern Virginia, 12 miles from Washington, DC. This song really speaks to me.

“Christmas Eve in Washington,” a slow, melodic song released in 1982 by local singer Maura Sullivan. The song is unlike any other holiday pop track. Sullivan’s lyrics talk about America, freedom, and sites around the greater Washington area like the Blue Ridge mountains and Chesapeake Bay.

Library Carrel- O Festivus

To the tune of O Christmas Tree

The usual holiday tradition of a tree is manifested in an unadorned aluminum pole, which is in direct contrast to normal holiday materialism. Those attending Festivus may also participate in the “Airing of Grievances” which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year, followed by a Festivus dinner, and then completed by the “Feats of Strength” where the head of the household must be pinned. All of these traditions are based upon the events in the Seinfeld episode, Strangely enough, our Festivus traditions also have roots that pre-date Seinfeld, as it began in the household of Dan O’Keefe, a television writer who is credited for writing the Seinfeld episode.

The traditional greeting of Festivus is “Happy Festivus.” The slogan of Festivus is “A Festivus for the rest of us!

O Festivus
O Festivus
You stand in naked splendor
O Festivus
O Festivus
We can't return to sender

You metal branches are left bare
No decorations anywhere

O Festivus
O Festivus
An antidote to Christmas

More Midway Christmas Cards

USS Midway (CV-41) was the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the 20th century. Named after the climactic Battle of Midway of June 1942, Midway was built in only 17 months, but missed World War II by one week when commissioned on September 10, 1945. Midway was the first in a three-ship class of large carriers that featured an armored flight deck and a powerful air group of 120 planes.

December 18 is Flake Appreciation Day

Not your favorite politician or other celebrity, but snowflakes!

Flake Appreciation Day is a special holiday that is celebrated on December 18 every year in the United States. The holiday is used to show appreciation for snowflakes which are loved by many. Snowflakes are beautiful, unique, and naturally occurring. They come in complex shapes and sizes and are divided into 35 categories. As with human fingerprints, no two snowflakes are exactly alike. Snowflakes are created when water vapor in clouds freezes around dust particles due to humidity. Typically hexagonal, snowflakes can sometimes take the form of flat, needle-shaped particles.

The history of snowflakes was greatly influenced by Wilson Bentley. He was born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont. His work is significant as he helped discover that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. He used a type of photography that uses microscopes called photomicrography to take pictures of 5,000 snowflakes. Bentley published articles and books about his findings and donated some of his photographs to the Smithsonian Institution. He was the world’s leading snowflake expert and was referred to as ‘The Snowflake Man’ until he died in 1931.

Nowadays snowflake has a more insulting meaning: “Snowflake” is a derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.–We are not talking about that type of snowflake.

From a Charlie Brown Christmas
Catch a snowflake on your tongue
Like you did when you were young
Feel the snow melt in your mouth
Return to the happy days of youth
An innocent time of days gone by
Not to be recaptured, though many try

Bet It Cost a Pretty Penny

The unnamed church on Old Garth Road is seldom used but always well maintained. In the four years we have been driving by, it was decorated with a floral garland once for a wedding. Each Christmas season someone fastens a wreath to the front door but usually doesn’t remove it until late in January.

Recently skilled workmen installed the new copper roof and cross.

Update, 13 Dec–from Google:

St. James Church is a historic church located northwest of Charlottesville near Owensville, Albemarle County, Virginia, United States on VA 614 east of VA 676. Wikipedia

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Did you ever wonder about the story of this song?

Over on the ‘treaty cruiser’ USS New Orleans (CA-32)……. Lt.(jg) Howell Forgy, the Chaplin never got the service going that morning ….. (Dec 7, 1941) the ship was at berth 1010 in the Shipyard for major repairs on the ships engines …. soon they lost shore power ….

The crew manned their 5″ guns but the ammo hoists were down …. so other sailors formed a human chain…. and soon were passing 85 lbs shells – hand-to-hand – from the magazines up through the ship and out to the 5″ mounts ….. it was stressful work, and some were tiring … all Morphy could do was encourage them …. and out of no where he called  out ….. “Praise the Lord… and pass the ammunition”  .….. it soon became the title of a popular wartime song ….